The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead and didn’t look back behind Clayton Kershaw, who continued to be effective in an easy 9-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.
That’s now three wins in a row for the Dodgers, including nine series in a row, and taking this game ensured they would not drop a series in all of August.
Last time he faced the Dodgers, Merrill Kelly delivered six shutout, which was an anomaly for him against a team that even with that performance he had a 5+ ERA against over a significant sample. Well, thankfully tonight he got back to his more normal performance against the team.
Things started in the 1st, as an infield single from Mookie Betts and a single from Will Smith put a pair on with one out. Max Muncy barely avoided a double play on review, which was important because the Two-Out Dodgers arrived behind David Peralta and Jason Heyward doubles, which scored three runs and gave them an early lead.
Jason Heyward trades places with him for two more runs and a crooked number. pic.twitter.com/uZgr9C82mJ— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) August 30, 2023
Miguel Rojas' 12th RBI of the month, lol. pic.twitter.com/1uRrq1xZto— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) August 30, 2023
Kelly’s journey didn’t get any easier in the 3rd, as the inning started by a Muncy double, and Peralta singled to plate a run. A double play followed and seemed to kill the rally, but that’s actually when it got started, as a James Outman single was followed by a Taylor double to make it 6-0.
After a double play, the two-out Dodgers strike again behind a James Outman single and Chris Taylor double. pic.twitter.com/9E0zG5tlsg— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) August 30, 2023
Well, that was certainly a cushion for Kershaw, who again didn’t look his best but was effective. He issued a couple of two-out walks in the 1st, but escaped behind a fly out. In the 2nd, he gave up a one-out single and a walk in the 2nd, but a double play followed. He used that to get clean frames in both the 3rd and 4th.
It's so easy. Folks… pic.twitter.com/6qpebkOnOe— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) August 30, 2023
He finally gave up a run in the 5th, as Corbin Carroll looks healthy again and somehow hit this curve out to center. A rarity and I think only the third time it’s happened to Kershaw in his career.
Hitting this out to center is pretty nuts. pic.twitter.com/FuBDAEKZSL— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) August 30, 2023
The Dodgers continued to be conservative with Kershaw and pulled him after five, which makes sense since his command wasn’t his best and his velo was down: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 79 Pitches.
Meanwhile, Kelly at least got a scoreless inning in the 4th, but the 5th saw Muncy walk and then he gave up back-to-back singles to Peralta and Heyward to load the bases. The Dodgers were only able to get a run out of that, however, as Outman flew into a sacrifice fly double play, with Peralta getting thrown out at third. A single followed as the Dodgers looked to rally again, but Kelly got out of the jam to end his night. Still, it was 7-1.
There was no relief to be found for the D-backs, as the 6th featured Mookie hitting career-high homer number 36 and Smith hopefully getting hot with homer 17.
Mookie Betts sets a career-high in homers with 36. It's August. pic.twitter.com/ZRMsko8iPg— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) August 30, 2023
Just need him to get hot and J.D. to return for Voltron to be complete. pic.twitter.com/5wpRbeC6pn— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) August 30, 2023
The bats weren’t able to push across anything further in the 7th (despite a single and double) nor the 8th.
Didn’t matter, really.
In relief of Kershaw was Gus Varland in the 6th, who worked around a walk and single. Varland’s 7th was even rougher, as he gave up a single, threw a wild pitch, and issued a walk to start the inning.
He was relieved by Tyson Miller, who made his return to the Dodgers after a brief Mets stint, and immediately induced a double play. He then got a lineout to center to end the threat and bail out Varland. He continued on in the 8th and certainly did his job, getting another scoreless inning with two strikeouts after giving up a lead-off single.
For the 9th it was Victor Gonzalez to close it out, and he got a pair of groundouts and punctuated his outing with a strikeout to end the game.
Just rolling, man.
|Giants||69-63 (13.5 GB)|
|Diamondbacks||69-64 (14 GB)|
*Either still playing or will play later.
Helping out the Giants kinda sucks, but eh.
The Dodgers will go for the sweep at the same time tomorrow of 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET. It’ll be Lance Lynn looking to continue his run with the Dodgers against Brandon Pfaadt, whose name still sounds like a fart cushion.